Nuggets from the Webinar: Intersectionality and Toxic Behavior

by Dec 20, 2023

Our team recently organized a webinar on “When Intersectionality and Toxic Behavior Intersect: Managing Toxic Behavior as it Relates to Race, Sex, and Gender” with Catherine as a moderator and she brought a panel of experts together for this important event. 

There were lots of good nuggets here and we’re gonna share some to help you foster an inclusive and positive workplace culture.


When Intersectionality and Toxic Behavior Intersect

To begin with, Ashley highlighted the power of using one’s identity positively to shape societal impact. Stressing the importance of self-awareness, Ashley underscored that understanding intersectionality is pivotal for contributing meaningfully to others.

Next, Joey introduced the “AIR Framework,” drawing parallels between intersectionality and the air we breathe. He emphasized the critical actions of Acknowledging personal barriers, Informing others, and Responding appropriately to different treatments, advocating for proactive steps in navigating diverse experiences.

Justin celebrated the beauty found in intersectionality, urging individuals and leaders to embrace this friction as a catalyst for uniqueness and diversity.

Lastly, Stacey emphasized the necessity of specificity in identity discussions, urging a focus on individual stories rather than relying solely on labels to understand diversity.


Navigating Labels, Stories, and Constructive Feedback

The discussion expanded to address the intricacies of labels, narratives, and the pivotal role of leaders in fostering constructive feedback cultures. Justin emphasized the importance of engaging with individuals’ stories, while Stacey stressed authenticity in understanding personal journeys beyond mere labels.

Joey highlighted that “Feedback is a flashlight, not a spotlight”, emphasizing its role in fostering growth and psychological safety. This was echoed by Stacey, emphasizing the necessity of equipping leaders with the skills to deliver constructive feedback effectively.


Leaders Driving Change and Fostering Inclusivity

Shifting gears to organizational leadership, the conversation shed light on the crucial roles leaders play in instigating change. Joey stressed the need for evidence-based approaches and policy shifts to identify and fix toxic workplace cultures. Stacey echoed this, pushing for sustained strategies backed by evidence to effectively tackle toxicity.

As the discussion delved into feedback and leadership, it became a rallying call for leaders to foster inclusive spaces. The key, lies in leaders comprehending and leveraging intersectionality, nurturing environments that encourage open, constructive feedback, and prioritizing ongoing growth for all team members.

This conversation serves as a poignant reminder that effective leadership is essential for meaningful change. Remember, change takes time, patience, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. Let us embrace the journey towards a more inclusive future, where diversity is celebrated, and everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive.


Creating Positive Workplaces

We’ve got a bunch of resources that you can download for free to support building positive workplaces. This webinar was really eye-opening and insightful and we really hope you found it valuable, too! 

By integrating intersectionality into the fabric of the organization, acknowledging the multifaceted nature of individuals, and addressing their unique needs, a positive and inclusive workplace culture can be cultivated.If you’re keen to dive deeper, check out more of Civility Partners’ content. And hey, if you’re ready to take that next step, don’t hesitate to reach out!


Written by: Jennifer Areola

When it comes to DEI, language matters…and it’s constantly evolving. Are you using the right terminology in your organization? Download our DEI Terminology Cheat Sheet and see how you stack up.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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